Tofu

Version: 2.0.1 || Release Date: 2008-09-10 || License: Freeware App Owner: amar

Tofu is a little application to make reading text easier. It reformats text into narrow columns, like in newpapers, so your eye can follow the lines easier. You can jump to any point in your text by simply typing some letters near it (without choosing any command first). There's a system-wide Service so you can, for example, grab some text from a web page. And it lets you use your voice to navigate text, so you can literally sit back and read.

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11 Opinions

If you want to see without downloading: check out this html demo: http://www.xs4all.nl/~zanstra/prj/columns.html

Notice: you need css3 column support (firefox, safari amongst others)

Very simple app that is effective at what it claims to do; make screen reading easier. I never realized how much time I wasted on scrolling and resizing until I pasted text in this program. Just click the right arrow and it scrolls over to a new column so you can keep reading and not worry about managing your screen.

Tofu is the greatest thing ever. I've tried reading ebooks in text editors, and it was torture. In desperate moments, I even tried printing them. Imagine "1984" sputtering out of an inkjet with 8pt type and .25" margins (trying to save paper).

It's perfect as is, I say.

@f1l : The value here is not in replacing real books. Rather, reading a website, PDF, or other online article often involves lots of scrolling. Here, you get pretty columns you can shift between with one keystroke. If it's in your dock, you can just drag text from anywhere onto its icon, and Tofu will bring it up automatically in a very easy to read and manipulate form. I almost always have this app on.

Simple, but highly effective. I use it far more often than I thought I would when I first tried it out.
Worth a try. Tiny, pretty fast (huge files bog down on resizing, unfortunately), and it really does make reading easier.

Tofu is a rare breed: a simple application that does one thing, but does it exceedingly well. This little App has saved me hours of frustration. No, its not quite like reading a book, but it does render text in a way that makes it a pleasure rather than a burden to read.

The best little app that nobody ever heard of. Tofu makes reading long stretches of text downright pleasant, and the latest version supports PDFs as well. (PDFs are portable, yeah, but you end up spending more time scrolling around than reading!) It totally eliminates the top-half-of-a-line-at-the-bottom-of-the-window problem that plagues web browsers--Tofu displays complete lines only! This sounds minor, but is a huge boost to readability. You can also display the text in your choice of fonts. I prefer Palatino, which is very readable on-screen.

(Re mumkin's Project Gutenberg comment below, google for "GutenMark" which is a command-line utility that automatically formats Gutenberg texts into readable HTML or LaTeX.)

Indeed, all props to Tofu... it makes it possible and pleasurable to read Project Gutenberg texts on my Powerbook. Mind you, for best results you'll want to tweak your settings a bit. I have Tofu set to use 18 point Baskerville, and view full screen. You may wish to adjust the column widths and gutters to your personal preferences as well. Also, eTexts from Project Gutenberg really need to have their linebreaks removed (use something like TextWrangler) before they make for comfortable reading.

Not perfect but shows great promise...!
This would ( will ) be specially useful
to read those gnarly webpages...
( Salon, Slate, InfoWorld, etc. )
...that so offend the eyes.
Strangely lacking in export-in-TOFU-format functs.

Basically it sounds like a great idea, and because of that I find myself trying it over and over again, but the effort to launch it is just not worth the hassle in daily use. From the user experience it still doesn't come close enough to replace a 'real' book. I hate to admit it it, but Microsoft with it's Reader is a tiny bit closer. The upside is that Tofu is free, without any DRM and runs on OS X.

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